Grief is surprising. It's frustrating too. I have had many people tell me, or I've read that after awhile, they can choose to grieve. That they can keep it all bottled in and put on a shelf out of the way of their normal life and then on one certain day, revisit it. Then when they are done, they go on with their lives and then 365 days later come back and grieve and continue the cycle, year by year. Of course, they say that not a day goes by that they don't think of the person but they only grieve that one day. I don't get that. I just can't understand it. I mean, not a day goes by that I don't think of Grace, and in a way, it hurts to admit that I suppose I don't truly grieve each and every day anymore. I mean that in the sense that two years out, I don't cry every single day or every night. I don't let my mind go to the day she died or the day she was born or the bad days she had, every single day. But I sure do go there often. Very often. But I just can't see myself only doing it once a year. But I suppose I don't know. I do know that I do not want to have to grieve like this for the rest of my life. Is that terrible? I don't want to when I'm 80, see a woman who is 53 and wonder what Grace would have looked like at 53, how many grandbabies would she have, etc etc. It hurts and it's tiring and I just don't want to spend the rest of my life doing it. But the thing is, she will be dead for the rest of my life. I will spend the rest of my life without her, I will never know the things I wonder about her, and I will never have the joy of helping my daughter learn how to raise her children etc. So though right now, I am sad not knowing the things my friends know, like what its like to take their daughter for her first pedicure, or haircut or dress shopping etc, and my husband doesn't get to partake in the daddy/daughter dances that are constantly posted to facebook, I know those things will end. But then other things begin. When we are older and all of ours and friends kids are getting married, my sweet husband will know that there is nobody for him to give away, he already has. I used to think "Cinderella" by Stephen Curtis Chapman was a beautiful song, now I turn it off, it's painful. I am sure it is for him as well now. I grieve for SO many things about her. I never knew before her that grief waslike this. Yes, I had known people to die, I had attended funerals and cried heavy tears for people who had passed but none like this. None like her. My daughter.
I grieve for the healthy full of life little girl that I didn't get to have. For the little girl that we rushed to the hospital to deliver, who was healthy. I grieve because I didn't enjoy my pregnancy with her at all and that was the only time she was ever safe. Grief comes to me in such strange ways. Often, I think of all the ways our lives would be different if Grace had not died. I imagine it as amazing. I imagine all of my boys with zero behavioral problems and insecurities (sure they weren't perfect before her death by any stretch, but it has done a number on us all) and I imagine her as a rambunctious two year old, who has all of her brothers wrapped around her finger. But very quickly, I am reminded that I don't know what she would have been like. She very well could not be walking, she might not be talking, she might be tube fed all day long still. Oxygen dependent still. Maybe she would have even ended up with a trach. Appointments all the time an hour away. And then I grieve for the special needs girl I don't have too. I saw a sweet little girl with an NG tube at the zoo the other day, and I felt jealousy. I had NG tube jealousy? I want to care for my little girl with a feeding tube.
I grieve for the healthy, typical girl that I do not have and I grieve for the special needs little girl that I do not have.
And that's what it comes down to though. For me to have kept her, she would have suffered. And even though, they'd have loved to keep her too, my sons would have inevitably suffered too since their lives would have been so altered to protect her. The hours of play with neighbors and birthday parties and outings to so many places just wouldn't have happened to protect her from the possible germs which could have eventually lead to her death anyway. But, for purely selfish reasons, I wish she had stayed. I miss her. I miss her nasal canula and I miss her feeding tube. I miss her stinky and leaky bag o bile... But how selfish to put her through all of that. But then it all comes back around to, "why did she have to be born so sick anyway.." I wish I knew.